When it comes to bladder cancer, complications are not uncommon. If the cancer is putting pressure on the junction of one or both ureters, it can cause obstruction of the kidneys. Your kidneys are involved in the purification of your body; its blockage may lead to serious medical conditions and even death.
In addition, bladder cancer has a tendency to relapse; it can recur anytime after the treatment. Therefore, avoid all factors that can lead to bladder cancer during and after treatment is very important to increase your chance of surviving.
Complications of the treatment
While it is necessary to treat the cancer, the treatment itself can cause problems. In fact, complications of bladder cancer arise mostly from the treatment than the cancer itself. Surgery is the type of therapy which is most often responsible for post treatment complications. Usually, complications depend on the type of surgery performed.
For instance, a partial cystectomy can damage the bladder, but the bladder will still be able to retain urine. After a total cystectomy, however, you will be completely without bladder, so you need another way to store and eliminate urine. In some cases, your urological surgeon can create a new bladder using a small section of your intestinal tissue. The prosthesis must be emptied regularly and manually, using a tube or catheter.
Similarly, your surgeon may perform a urostomy. During the procedure, your surgeon will connect your ureters to the abdominal wall to create an opening called stoma. A plastic bag will be attached to the exterior of the stoma to collect urine and replace the bladder. The bag must also be emptied regularly.
In addition, surgery for bladder cancer can lead to infertility in women, in case of removal of the uterus; menopause when the ovaries are removed; and sexual dysfunction, if the vagina has been shrunk or shorten. Men may also experience infertility and sexual dysfunction if the prostate and the glands producing sperm have been removed or severely damaged.